Shri Rudreshwar Mandir

Eternal Blessings by the Waterfall: The Enchanting Realm of Shri Rudreshwar


Shri Rudreshwar Mandir, nestled in the scenic landscapes of Bicholim Taluka, Goa, is a serene sanctuary dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located a mere 45 km from Panaji and close to the picturesque Arvalem Waterfalls, this temple is renowned for its spiritual ambiance and the sacred rites performed for the departed.

Shri Rudreshwar Mandir stands as a beacon of faith, attracting devotees and visitors alike to experience its tranquil setting and partake in the rituals that bridge the living with the spiritual realm. It is particularly famed for hosting the Mahashivratri festival, a vibrant celebration that honors Lord Shiva, drawing large crowds from across the nation. The festival is a testament to the temple’s cultural and religious significance, encapsulating a blend of devotion, tradition, and community spirit. The presence of the ancient Rudreshwar linga, venerated within the premises, adds a layer of mystique and reverence, making it a must-visit for those seeking spiritual solace and a connection with the divine.

Beyond its religious allure, the temple’s proximity to the Arvalem Waterfalls offers a natural retreat, where the soothing sounds of water and the lush green surroundings create a peaceful sanctuary for meditation and reflection. This harmonious blend of spirituality and nature enhances the temple’s appeal, providing a unique experience of Goa’s spiritual heritage and its breathtaking natural beauty. Visitors leave with a sense of peace and fulfillment, having witnessed the harmonious coexistence of nature and spirituality at Shri Rudreshwar Temple.


Nestled in the lush landscapes of North Goa, the region encompassing Bicholim Taluka, Sanquelim holds a special place in the heart of Hindu culture and history. This area, with its verdant surroundings, is home to the revered Shri Rudreshwar Mandir and the enigmatic Arvalem Caves, believed to be a refuge for the Pandavas during their exile in the epic saga of the Mahabharata.

The caves, a mere stone’s throw from the temple, are steeped in historical significance, linking the serene beauty of the region with ancient tales of valor and virtue. The temple, set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Arvalem Waterfalls, further enhances the spiritual ambiance, offering a tranquil haven for devotees and seekers.

This confluence of natural beauty, religious importance, and mythological connections makes this region a pivotal site for those looking to delve into the depths of Hindu spirituality and explore the rich tapestry of India’s cultural heritage.

Where nature's tranquility meets divine grace: Shri Rudreshwar Mandir, a serene rendezvous of spirituality and heritage.

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Religious Significance

Shri Rudreshwar Mandir holds a special place in the hearts of many for its deep religious significance. At its core, this temple is a sanctuary where people come to connect with the divine, especially to honor Lord Shiva. It’s not just a place of worship; it’s where families gather to perform sacred rituals for their loved ones who have passed away, believing that these rites bring peace to departed souls.

The temple, with its serene atmosphere and the soothing presence of the nearby waterfall, provides a perfect backdrop for these moments of reflection and prayer. It’s a space where the ancient and the present blend, allowing visitors to feel a sense of continuity with their ancestors and the divine. In simple terms, Shri Rudreshwar Mandir is more than just a place to visit; it’s a touchstone of faith and tradition, offering solace and spiritual comfort to all who come here.

Temple Timings

The temple is open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM, providing ample time for devotees and visitors to engage in worship, attend rituals, and experience the serene ambiance of the temple and its surroundings. This schedule allows visitors to partake in both the morning and evening rituals, which are integral parts of daily worship at the temple. Every day morning tea and breakfast and afternoon Mahaprasad free of cost to all the visitors or devotees.

Rituals & Pujas

At Shri Rudreshwar Mandir, a range of rituals and pujas are offered to Lord Shiva, catering to the spiritual needs of devotees and allowing them to express their devotion and seek blessings. Some of the common rituals and pujas include:

  1. Abhishekam: This is a holy bathing of the Shivling with various sacred substances like milk, honey, ghee (clarified butter), and water, among others. It’s a purification ritual that signifies the cleansing of the soul and is performed with chants and prayers to Lord Shiva.
  2. Rudrabhishekam: A special form of Abhishekam, Rudrabhishekam involves the chanting of the Sri Rudram, an ancient Vedic hymn, while offering a ceremonial bath to the Shivling. It’s considered highly auspicious and is believed to invoke Lord Shiva’s blessings for health, wealth, and spiritual growth.
  3. Aarti: The Aarti is a devotional song sung in praise of Lord Shiva, accompanied by the waving of lamps in front of the deity. This ritual is performed typically at the end of puja ceremonies, creating an atmosphere of devotion and reverence.
  4. Pradosha Puja: Conducted during the Pradosha period, which occurs twice in the lunar month on the thirteenth day of both the waxing and waning moon, this puja is dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva to seek his blessings for the removal of sins and obstacles in life.
  5. Bilva Archana: Offering of Bilva leaves to Lord Shiva is a significant ritual, as the Bilva leaf is considered very sacred to Shiva. Devotees perform Bilva Archana by offering leaves to the deity while chanting mantras, believing it to bring prosperity and absolve sins.
  6. Annadanam: While not a puja in the strictest sense, the practice of offering food to the devotees, known as Annadanam, is considered a sacred service and an important ritual at the temple, embodying the spirit of selfless giving and community welfare.

These rituals and pujas deepen the spiritual experience of devotees, allowing them to connect more intimately with the divine and partake in the timeless traditions of Hindu worship.


The history of Shri Rudreshwar Mandir is as mystical and enduring as the devotion it inspires. While the origins of the temple and its sacred Shivlinga are shrouded in the mists of time, the dedication and faith of its community have left a tangible mark on history.

In a profound display of unity and devotion, the temple’s caretakers, primarily from the Naik Bhandari community, came together to form an association, solidifying their collective stewardship of this sacred space. Their efforts culminated in the drafting of a compromisso, a formal agreement that was officially recognized and published in the Official Gazette on February 17, 1928.

This pivotal moment not only registered the temple under the administration of Bicholim Taluka but also symbolized the community’s commitment to preserving their spiritual heritage. Through this act, the guardians of Shri Rudreshwar Temple ensured that its legacy would continue to be a beacon of faith and tradition for generations to come.


The architecture of Shri Rudreshwar Mandir is a harmonious blend of traditional Goan temple design with elements of natural beauty seamlessly integrated into its structure. Though the temple has been reconstructed on the ancient site, it retains the essence of classical Hindu architectural principles, featuring a simple yet elegant façade that invites devotees into a space of serenity and devotion.

The temple’s location near the Arvalem Waterfalls enhances its spiritual ambiance, with the natural backdrop providing a picturesque setting for worship and reflection. Inside, the sanctum sanctorum houses the revered Shivling, the focal point of the temple, where the interplay of light and shadow adds to the mystical atmosphere. The temple’s design, while modest, captures the essence of devotion, making it a place where architecture and spirituality intertwine to create a haven of peace.

How to Reach

Reaching Shri Rudreshwar Mandir in Goa is convenient by various modes of transportation, including rail, bus, and air, due to its accessible location near the town of Sanquelim and close to the major cities of Goa.

Via Rail: The nearest railway station to Shri Rudreshwar Mandir is Thivim Railway Station in North Goa, which is well-connected to major cities across India. From Thivim, the temple is approximately 30 kilometers away. Visitors can hire taxis or use local bus services to reach the temple from the railway station. Another major railway station is Vasco da Gama, although it’s a bit further away, it offers broader connectivity.

Via Bus: Goa has an extensive network of state-run and private buses connecting it to neighboring states and major cities. For reaching Shri Rudreshwar Temple, the nearest major bus station is in Mapusa, from where regular bus services to Sanquelim are available. Once in Sanquelim, visitors can easily find local transportation to the temple. Additionally, direct bus services to Sanquelim may be available from major cities like Panaji (Panjim), making it convenient for travelers.

Via Airways: The closest airport to Shri Rudreshwar Temple is Goa International Airport (Dabolim Airport), which is well connected to major cities in India and some international destinations. The airport is around 50 kilometers away from the temple. From the airport, visitors can opt for taxis or pre-booked vehicles to reach the temple directly. Alternatively, one can use the airport shuttle services to reach Panjim or Mapusa and then take a bus or a taxi to the temple.

Regardless of the mode of transportation chosen, reaching Shri Rudreshwar Temple is relatively straightforward, thanks to Goa’s well-developed transportation infrastructure and the temple’s proximity to key transport hubs.

Where to Stay

For non-locals visiting Shri Rudreshwar Mandir, there are several accommodation options in the vicinity and in the broader region of North Goa, catering to a range of preferences and budgets. While there may not be lodging facilities directly within the temple complex, the surrounding areas offer a variety of stays:

  1. Guest Houses and Lodges: Nearby towns like Sanquelim and Bicholim have guest houses and lodges that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation. These are ideal for visitors looking for a short stay close to the temple.
  2. Hotels: A range of hotels from budget to luxury can be found in the larger towns and cities nearby, such as Mapusa and Panaji. These locations provide a good base to explore the temple and the surrounding attractions, with more choices for dining and leisure activities.
  3. Resorts: For those seeking a more luxurious stay, North Goa is home to several resorts offering premium services, including spa treatments, fine dining, and scenic views. While these are further away from the temple, they are perfect for travelers looking to combine their spiritual journey with relaxation.
  4. Homestays: Homestays offer a unique opportunity to experience Goan hospitality and culture. Many families in the areas around the temple rent out rooms or entire houses, providing a homely and authentic experience.
  5. Eco-friendly Stays: For environmentally conscious travelers, there are eco-friendly cottages and campsites that focus on sustainable tourism, offering a peaceful retreat amidst nature.

When planning your stay, consider the distance from the temple and the type of experience you’re looking for. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons and festival times, to secure your preferred accommodation.

Festivals celebrated

At Shri Rudreshwar Mandir, the calendar is marked by several vibrant festivals that bring together the community in celebration and worship. Among these, the most significant are:

  1. Mahashivratri: This is the main festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. Mahashivratri honors Lord Shiva, attracting devotees from far and wide. The temple is alive with chants, prayers, and the lighting of lamps. Devotees observe fasts, perform rituals, and offer special prayers to Lord Shiva throughout the night, seeking his blessings for prosperity and liberation.
  2. Rama Navami: Celebrating the birth of Lord Rama, Rama Navami sees the temple decorated beautifully, with special pujas and bhajans dedicated to Lord Rama. Devotees gather to read the Ramayana, sing devotional songs, and partake in the festive atmosphere, reaffirming their faith and devotion.
  3. Buddha Purnima: Marked by its serene celebration, Buddha Purnima commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha. Though primarily a Buddhist festival, it’s celebrated by the temple community as a symbol of peace and enlightenment, reflecting the inclusive nature of the temple’s spiritual practices.
  4. Kojagiri Purnima: Also known as the Sharad Purnima, Kojagiri Purnima is celebrated with night-long prayers and the distribution of ‘Kheer’ (a rice pudding) as prasad, believed to be blessed by the moonlight. The festival symbolizes the changing seasons and is a time for giving thanks and seeking blessings for good health and prosperity.
  5. Tripurari Purnima: Celebrated as the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasura, Tripurari Purnima involves lighting lamps and fireworks, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. Devotees offer prayers, and the temple precincts are illuminated beautifully, creating a spectacle of devotion and celebration.
  6. There are 12 Shivratris that happen in a year.  There will be a Palakhi on every Shivratri day. This sacred procession involves carrying the murti of Lord Shiva in a palanquin, accompanied by devotees chanting hymns and prayers, creating an atmosphere of devotion and reverence.

Each of these festivals showcases the temple’s deep-rooted traditions and the vibrant cultural heritage of the community, making Shri Rudreshwar Mandir a focal point of spiritual activity and celebration throughout the year.


Did you know? The discovery of the sacred Shivalinga at Shri Rudreshwar Mandir was as miraculous as it gets. Legend has it that a cowherd stumbled upon this divine symbol purely by chance, when he noticed his cow spontaneously offering milk to the ground. This serendipitous event led to the unearthing of the Shivalinga, around which the temple was eventually built. It’s a beautiful reminder of the divine mysteries that often lie hidden in the simplest moments of everyday life.


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